This story first appeared in the January 14, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

  • THE DOMINOES START FALLING: Condé Nast chief executive-in-waiting Charles Townsend wasted no time filling one of his old jobs, appointing John Bellando chief operating officer of the company on Tuesday. Bellando had been the chief financial officer of both Condé Nast and its parent, the Advance Magazine Group. He will retain his title at Advance, just as Townsend will retain the chief operating officer title at the parent. Bellando joined Condé Nast in 1999 as senior vice president of accounting and finance. He held senior financial positions at several companies before that, including Random House when it was owned by Advance and after it was sold to Bertelsmann in 1998. Bellando’s appointment is part of what insiders see as a movement inside Condé Nast to become more cost-conscious. Advance also owns WWD parent Fairchild Publications.

  • OAKLEY GROWTH: Performance accessories and apparel brand Oakley Inc. said it will expand its international retail presence. The Foothill Ranch, Calif.-based company, which opened its first O Store in Torquay, Australia, in November 2001, has added another location in Santiago, Chile, and plans to open three others in the next year. Sites under consideration are London, Barcelona and Dubai. Oakley already has opened its Oakley Vault outlet concept in the U.K., France and South Africa. O Stores carry its entire product line and average 1,500 to 2,000 square feet compared with the Vault’s 2,700-square-foot sites. Gar Jackson, manager of corporate communications, said that since half of the company’s sales are generated outside the U.S., the retail expansion represents a strong opportunity. “It’s a great way for us to showcase the entire brand,” he said. Jackson said sales at Oakley’s 27 U.S. stores average $400 to $450 a square foot.

  • COURTING CAVALLI: The world will have to wait a bit longer for Roberto Cavalli’s tax fraud trial to start. Cavalli’s lawyer, Alessandro Traversi, said the Florence court once again postponed the trial’s start until March 18, when prosecution testimony will begin. As reported, Italy’s tax authorities claim Cavalli evaded fiscal responsibilities by booking roughly 5 billion lire, or $3.3 million at current exchange, in charges to renovate his luxurious Tuscan home as corporate expenses for the fiscal years 1996 through 2000.